This week's Gospel is one of my all time favorites because it reminds us that NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR GOD!! It also reminds us not to worry when you think there is not enough of something because GOD ALWAYS PROVIDES. ( sometimes in the most unusual ways but our needs are met by the ONE who knows us best!) It is the story of Jesus feeding the huge crowd the loaves and fishes. (Matthew 14:13-21)
The second reading this week is epic as well! (Romans 8:35,37-39)
"Brothers and sisters; What will separate us from the love of Christ? Will anguish,or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword? NO, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us!"
This is the HOPE we need today!
The prayer coming from my heart after reflecting on the scriptures for Sunday:
Thank you for blessing us so many ways, every day of our life. Thank you for the people that you place on our path, thank you for our families, thank you for our friends, and thank you for the opportunities you give us to shine your light for others!
In this ever changing world during the pandemic....thank you for being the constant! Thank you for helping us calm the waves of insecurities for the future. Thank you for being our peace and salvation always!
Lord we lift up all who are struggling with health concerns in mind and body, all those who are mourning, parents figuring out whether to send kids to school or stay home, and all those struggling with finances. Help us to trust in you. Help us to trust that you will provide way like you did the day when you fed a crowd from a small basket of fish and few loaves of bread. We know you are with us.
Thank you for being our HOPE!
What is the prayer in your heart?
Below is a song we can reflect on the call to lean on Jesus and trust that HE knows exactly what we need!
For Preschool & Kindergarten
For Elementary ages Grade 1- 5Living Inside Out to teach kids that they can trust God to provide. Find more great Sunday school lessons to help kids grow in their faith.
Scripture: John 6:1-14
The Point: We trust God to provide.
Key Verse: “You are the God of great wonders!” --Psalm 77:14
Bible FoundationThe ProblemWord of Jesus’ miracles and life-changing teaching was spreading—he was becoming something of a celebrity. One day, on a hillside near the Sea of Galilee, a massive crowd of over 5,000 people gathered to hear him. In the midst of the crushing mass, a bad situation became obvious to Jesus’ disciples: These people would soon be hungry and clearly there was no possible way to feed them all.
More Than EnoughAndrew found a young boy in the crowd who had food—but just five loaves and two fish. Miraculously, Jesus multiplied the small meal into a feast for thousands, with baskets of leftover food. Jesus knew what the people needed and, from the start, he “knew what he was going to do.” Through this amazing miracle, he demonstrated that he could—and would—provide. And even more, Jesus showed that when he gets his hands on our stuff, blessings explode in abundance.
Coulda, Woulda, ShouldaJesus could have spoken a simple word, and food would have appeared. He could have simply thought about it, and the hunger of all the people would’ve been instantly satisfied. Maybe some people think he should’ve done it that way—it certainly would’ve been faster. But Jesus didn’t. Instead, he let the people experience hunger. He helped his disciples recognize their utter inability to solve the problem themselves, and he used a young boy’s small offering as part of his miracle.
A Deeper AgendaThe day after he miraculously fed the 5,000, the same crowd gathered again. Jesus illuminated the events of the previous day with an even deeper spiritual meaning: “I am the bread of life,” he said, “Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again” (John 6:35). In the Old Testament, God communicates the same idea, explaining that he purposely allowed his people to hunger and then gave them manna to help them realize that they need him to really live and be satisfied (Deuteronomy 8:3).
Living Inside OutGod often works in this way so we realize that only he can provide for our deepest needs and hungers. He wants us to know that he will provide even when it may not seem possible to us, and that he may also want to involve us (our time, our abilities, and so on) in the process of his provision. Are you aware, in this moment, how much you rely on God? That he is the ultimate provider of your food, your water, your shelter, even the air you breathe as you read these words? Take time to give God credit for his provision. Take stock of divine provisions in your life you may have taken for granted. Praise God for the needs he meets and the lessons he seeks to teach you through your dependence upon him.
Sunday School Lesson: Jesus Feeds the Five ThousandParents - Prepare AheadOn a large sheet of butcher paper, draw a large target with a bull’s-eye and three large rings surrounding it. In the bulls-eye, write “YOU.” On the next ring, write “FAMILY.” On the next, write “FRIENDS.” On the outer ring, write “SCHOOL.” Attach the target to a wall or other hard surface
1. WelcomeSay: Jesus performed amazing miracles for many people. He prayed for people to hear and see again, helped people walk, and even raised people from the dead! Watch one amazing miracle where Jesus feeds over 5,000 people—with just a little boy’s lunch.
Have kids discuss in small groups:
2. Object LessonYou’ll need:
Say: How many corners does your piece of paper have? Allow time for the kids to count their corners.
Say: Your paper has four corners. But what if I want to give someone a corner? Cut off a corner of the paper, and hand it to a child. Hold up the paper, and say: Okay, now that I’ve given a corner away, how many corners do I have? Allow kids to answer, and then say: Wait a minute. I have five. Count the corners to the kids. Then have each child cut a corner from his or her paper.
Say: You see, the more times Jesus divided the bread and fish, the more he had to give away. Have the children count the corners on the cut-off piece they each have. Not only that, the people had more than enough. Encourage the kids to each cut off more corners, each time counting the multiplying corners.
Have kids discuss in small groups:
3. Bull’s-Eye!You’ll need:
Announce which ring the ballhits. Have everyone find a partner and share a way that God has provided for him or her in that area. For example, if the ball hits “FRIENDS” on the target, kids can talk about how God provided them with awesome friends who like the same things they do, who are fun to play with, and so on.
Choose another child to throw the ball. Have kids switch partners. Repeat several times, until each area is hit.
Have kids discuss in small groups:
4. Creative DrawingYou’ll need:
Say: You have a drawing of something ordinary. Now think of two or more ways you can use that item in a way that’s different from what it’s normally used for. For example, a spoon could help build a sand castle. A toothbrush can scratch your back. Allow about two to three minutes, encouraging kids to think creatively. There are no wrong answers.
Once everyone has finished, have kids trade their papers back and share their ideas with each other.
Have kids discuss in small groups:
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Check out the link below for more great discussion starters and talk about the miracles that you have witnessed in your life!
FOR YOUTH in Middle School
What are you hungry for? What would you want from Jesus today? Do you trust him? If you struggle with trusting ...ask Him for help. When was the last time you really prayed? How do you pray? Do you sit in the quiet or do you open the Bible, journal or use music to help direct your thoughts. Your challenge this week is to explore different ways to pray. Go to Jesus with all your heart!
For Teens and Young Adults
This is one of my all time favorite skits....... The Trust Fall. Do you trust Jesus? Do you really trust him with everything going on in your life? What can you do to increase your trust. For me, in order to really trust someone, I have to get to know them. I have to spend time with them. What about you? How well do you know Jesus? What can you do to know him better. Just some things to think about. I hope you take the plunge!
This week theme continues with thoughts on the kingdom of heaven. Jesus is trying to describe the kingdom of heaven to his followers using more parables. He gives several examples to ponder in our hearts. Let's try to break open the message a little further.
‘The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. ‘Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it. ‘Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and caught fish of every kind; when it was full, they drew it ashore, sat down, and put the good into baskets but threw out the bad. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. ‘Have you understood all this?’ They answered, ‘Yes.’ And he said to them, ‘Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.’
For Elementary age kids:
Parables: The Pearl of Great Price
To Remember: God's kingdom is worth all that we have
Matthew 13:44 The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
Matthew 13:45 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it. (NRSV)
Do you have one toy that you like more than all the others? Do you have a best friend? What are you willing to give up in order to have that toy or be with that friend? In these verses, Jesus describes a treasure so great, so valuable, so precious, the men sold everything they had to gain it. They did not value anything of theirs as much as they valued the chance to have the treasure or the pearl.
Jesus compares the kingdom of heaven with this valuable treasure. What Christ has offered us is so great, so valuable, that there is nothing we have that is worth keeping if it means we can't be in the kingdom. Think about the treasure in the field. If the man sold his house, then got the treasure, he would have the money to build a bigger house. The kingdom of heaven is the same way.
True or False
For Grades 6-8:
The Price Is Right
The Kingdom of heaven, what is it worth?
A package of cookies or another item of your choosing. I used Oreo cookies.
Scripture"Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for choice pearls. When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it!" Matthew 13:45-46 (NIV)
There is a television show called "The Price Is Right." Have you ever seen it? It has been on television for more than fifty years! The contestants on the show are shown an item and then they try to guess how much the item costs. The one who guesses closest to the actual price without going over wins the prize. I thought it would be fun to play "The Price Is Right." I brought a package of cookies. Oreo cookies! Yum, yum! On the back of the package there is a tag with the price of the cookies. We will see how close you can come to guessing the price without going over the correct price.
If you think that the price of this package of cookies is MORE than $4.00, raise your hand. No, if you raised your hand, you are out of the game because these cookies do not cost more than $4.00.
If you think the price of this package of cookies is LESS than $2.00, raise your hand. If you raised your hand, you are out of the game because these cookies cost more than $2.00.
If you think the price of these cookies is MORE than $3.00, raise your hand. If you raised your hand, you are still in the game. This package of cookies does cost more than $3.00.
Next, I am going to call out a price, If I call out the price that you think is the right price of the cookies, raise your hand.
$3.39 - No, you're out of the game.
$3.49 - No, you're out of the game.
$3.59 - No! You're out!
$3.69 - Yes! These cookies cost $3.69. If your hand is up, you are a winner! You have won the cookies, but I am sure that you will want to share them with the other children when our Bible story is over.
These cookies are good, but $3.69 is a lot of money for a package of cookies, isn't it? Are they worth it? Perhaps there is another package of cookies that would be just as good for less money. Every day, we have to make choices about the value of things. We ask ourselves, "How much am I willing to pay?"
Jesus once told a story about a man who found a treasure which someone had hidden in a field. He was so happy that he immediately went and sold everything he had and bought the field so that the treasure would be his. (Matthew 13:44)
Jesus told about another man who went in search of fine pearls. When he found a pearl that he thought was the very best, he sold everything that he had so that he could buy the pearl. (Matthew 13:45-46)
These men both found something that they thought was worth giving everything they owned so that they could have it. Do you know what this thing was that Jesus was talking about? He wasn't talking about buried treasure or beautiful pearls, he was talking about the kingdom of heaven. The kingdom of heaven is the greatest treasure one could ever desire. It is more precious than silver, gold, or jewels. That is why Jesus calls us to give up all that we have and follow him. Is that too great a price? I don't think so. In fact, I would say, "The Price Is Right!"
Father, nothing we have can compare to life in the kingdom of heaven. Amen.
(taken for Sermons4kids)
Welcome to this week' blog on the wheat and the weeds! In the Gospel this week, Jesus tells the parable of the good sower that plants good seed, while behind his back the evil one plants weeds to try and ruin the crop. When the good sower is aware of the weeds he lets them grow with the wheat only to be separated in the end.This sounds ominous but it really gives me comfort. Sometimes it is frustrating when we see evil things happening in the world. What gives me peace and should give you peace is that GOD sees it all. God knows the truth! We should do our best to grow in faith, hope and love. We should do our best to not be distracted by the weeds and keep our focus on God who is loving, merciful and just.
Here is a musical reflection on this parable... "Wheat and Tares" by the Wind Talkers. Let the lyrics resonate in our hearts.
Let us Pray,
Prayer Lord of the Harvest, be with us now as we pray. May we will sow good seed by the goodness of our lives and look forward to a bountiful harvest. • For the eyes of faith to see both goodness and evil in the world. Lord, open our eyes. • For prayerful discernment in difficult circumstances. Lord, sensitize our minds. • For a focused commitment to your Word. Lord, center our hearts. • For patience and mercy as we trust in a future we cannot see. Lord, we surrender our lives. With these prayers we seek the kingdom of heaven. We make them with confidence in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Additional thoughts Ten ways...to ‘tend the field’ within each of us:
1. Be thankful for God’s blessings. Keep a gratitude journal.
2. Develop small, daily, life giving habits.
3. Ponder a little bit of Scripture each day.
4. Stay close to the sacramental life of the Church.
5. Don’t feed your mind junk food. Be discerning about what you read, view.
6. Contribute to the mission of the Church. Put your shoulder to the plough.
7. Seek guidance from a wise, spiritually mature mentor.
8. Stay focused on persons not things; on Jesus, not religious ideology.
9. “Be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28). Bringing children into the world, and raising them according to God’s teachings of love is a profound expression of gospel fecundity.
10. Over to you... from your experience, add a tenth point.
"Weeds among the wheat”-reflection
The biblical image of the ‘weeds among the wheat’ (Mt 13:24-30) is used repeatedly by Pope Francis in Evangelii Gaudium (‘Joy of the Gospel’). Read the passage in Matthew’s Gospel (see p.3), followed by these paragraphs from Evangelii Gaudium: “Let us believe the Gospel when it tells us that the kingdom of God is already present in this world and is growing, here and there, and in different ways: like the small seed which grows into a great tree... and like the good seed that grows amid the weeds...and can always pleasantly surprise us.” (EG, 278) “Evangelization consists mostly of patience... Faithful to the Lord’s gift, it also bears fruit. An evangelizing community is always concerned with fruit, because the Lord wants her to be fruitful. It cares for the grain and does not grow impatient at the weeds. The sower, when he sees weeds sprouting among the grain does not grumble or overreact. He or she finds a way to let the word take flesh in a particular situation and bear fruits of new life, however imperfect or incomplete these may appear.” (EG, 24) “The joy of the Gospel is such that it cannot be taken away from us by anyone or anything (cf. Jn 16:22). The evils of our world – and those of the Church – must not be excuses for diminishing our commitment and our fervour. Let us look upon them as challenges which can help us to grow... Our faith is challenged to discern how...wheat can grow in the midst of weeds.” (EG, 84)
-the above prayers and reflections came from: The Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis Evangelii Gaudium © 2013 Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Australian edition published by ST PAULS PUBLICATIONS. Scripture: New Revised Standard Version. This leaflet © 2014 MissionServices,Catholic Schools Office, Diocese of Broken Bay. www.godsmissionjoyofthegospel.dbbcso.org
For Children K- 3rd grade.... and Object lesson and craft!
For Grades 4-6
For Teens: Something to think about while living in a world full of wheat and weeds (good and evil)... finding GOOD friends helps you stay true to your true identity as a child of GOD. Sometimes we all can get mixed up along the way.Having friends that look out for your best interest will help you grow to be the best version of yourself.
For all of us... making decisions can be tricky in a world full of weeds sometimes.
Fr. Mike Schmitz gives us some great advice on making decisions.
This week's Gospel is about the parable of the SOWER. Jesus is trying to help the people understand the importance of faith taking root in people's lives. I think He challenges us today......will we have faith during the trials of our current world situation? How does our faith manifest and take root in our lives? Do we have to see to believe? These are questions that came up for me while reading this passage from Matthew 13:1-23. We are challenged in today's crisis to live as people of deep faith or not? What kind of soil are the seeds of faith planted in you and me? How do you love your neighbor or even your enemy? Do we listen but not hear? How do we protect the vulnerable? How do we live in respect for every human? People with deep faith are called to live and share the Gospel. (Sometimes we do not even need words) Below is a video reenactment of this passage from Matthew. Picture yourself with the disciples. What stands out for you?
Here below is a beautiful reflection on this same parable .....most of us have been in all the different types of soil. Thank goodness, God does not ever give up on us!
Lord, plant my seed in good ground! Help me to grow in faith so my relationship with you is not shallow and weak, but a deep and mature faith. Grant me a faith that can move mountains of doubt and oceans of fear. Teach me to triumph over temptation. Help me to believe in you, even when I do not understand the capricious nature of the weather and the cruelty in some people. Lord, I am yours. Take me as I am. Shape me. Make me. Mold me into the person you would have me to be. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior we pray. Amen.
Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III
Something for everyone:
For the Parish: Pray the Rosary! Click on the video below to find out what we are doing this summer.
What is Jesus trying to grow in you? What are the things that get in the way?